Buckinghamshire’s electric scooter trials will continue past May 2024 as Westminster drags its feet over legalising the vehicles.

Hannah Joyce, the head of transport strategy and funding at Buckinghamshire Council, provided the update during the High Wycombe Town Committee this week.

She told councillors: “It doesn’t look at this time like they are going to legalise e-scooters in the time left available to them because that takes quite a lot of parliamentary time.

“So, we are working on the basis at the moment that they are going to continue past May 2024.”

Using private e-scooters on public roads is illegal, and only those approved as part of public trials can be used.

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Buckinghamshire Council currently has trials in Aylesbury, High Wycombe and Princes Risborough operated and funded by e-scooter company Zipp Mobility.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has extended the trials multiple times, with the latest being until May 2024.

But the news that the e-scooter trials will be extended again, beyond May 2024, was met with anger from some Wycombe councillors.

Cllr Tony Green raised concerns that e-scooters may not be properly insured.

He said: “I am appalled because when this was sold to us, we were told that insurance was a vital part of it. The assumption I had was that that also insured the rider.

“Are you seriously saying that if they cause damage to another vehicle or individual – and I know people who have been injured by these things – that they have to take a private prosecution against a juvenile?

READ MORE: Zipp Mobility e-scooter hire extended again

“That is totally unacceptable… I have never been happy with scooters and think they ought to go as soon as possible.”

David O’Reilly of Irish company Zeus Scooters, which acquired Zipp Mobility this year, cleared up Cllr Green’s concerns.

He said: “We are insured 100 per cent under the DfT guidelines. It is similar to if you rent a car from Hertz and crash it into somebody else’s car, Hertz doesn’t have to pay that insurance, it’s you.”

Safety data presented at the committee showed that only 0.006 per cent of Buckinghamshire e-scooter rides resulted in incidents, and none resulted in serious incidents referred to police.

Councillor Nathan Thomas also queried how residents could report e-scooters that have been dumped.

He said: “It is quite distressing for residents. I get complaints, particularly from those in wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

“They come out and see out and see an e-scooter just dumped on the pathway and they can’t move it.”

Mr O’Reilly said there was a phone number on the Zipp app and with the council that residents can call to get an e-scooter removed.

Other councillors expressed support for e-scooters as a form of alternative transport, including Cllr Julia Wassell, who said: “I always feel excited when I see an e-scooter.”